Medical Biotechnology (with Professional Experience) MSc

A student working in a lab
Mode of Study
Part-time, Full-time
18 months full-time, 30 months part-time
Start Date
September 2021, January 2022

Applying for 2021/22 entry? See how you'll be taught in our Covid information for applicants.


Biotechnology is a rapidly expanding industry, driven by the development of molecular biological research, the growth of the ‘green economy’, and advances in the use of biotechnology in medical diagnosis, therapeutics and biomedical research.

If you're ready to take your previous studies in a science discipline to postgraduate level, this Medical Biotechnology Master's degree will help you develop advanced skills in molecular biotechnology.

To give you a competitive edge in your biotechnology career, this course includes a 6-month work placement or professional experience module. You'll put your learning into action in a laboratory, discovering how to apply diagnostics, therapeutics and biomedical research in molecular medicine, drug and device development and the biomedical sector.

When you graduate, you'll have the skills, knowledge and qualifications for a successful career in research or industry in the biotechnology sector, and in the fields of bioscience or pharmaceuticals.

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • A 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Professional experience and other qualifications may be taken into consideration for applicants not meeting this requirement.
English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

All our courses go through a rigorous approval process to make sure they’re of the highest quality. This includes a review by a panel of experts, made up of academic staff and an external academic or professional with specialist knowledge.

This course is in the final stages of this process and is open for applications. If any details of the course or its approval status change after you apply, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and will be here to discuss your options with you.

What you'll experience

On this course, you'll:

  • Take part in a 6-month placement or complete a professional experience module to apply what you learn and enhance your employability
  • Develop a practical and theoretical understanding of the molecular techniques used in the biotechnology sector
  • Learn how these are applied in diagnostics, therapeutics and molecular medicine
  • Develop your practical skills using professional research equipment in the University's complex of over 30 laboratories
  • Conduct your own medical biotechnology research, in areas such as pathology, drug and device development, business or bioinformatics
  • Have the option to study additional topics in the field, including clinical pathology, tissue regeneration, business skills for biotechnology and bioinformatics and omics
  • Be supported by a team of expert scientists
  • Use our specialist facilities, including microscopy for imaging at both the cellular and molecular level

Careers and opportunities

When you complete this MSc Medical Biotechnology degree, you'll be qualified for a career within small and medium-sized enterprises and global business in the area of biotechnology, as well as public and private health service providers.

You'll have practical and theoretical skills in medical biotechnology, as well as transferable skills as problem-solving and research.

Your time spent building professional or workplace experience will also set you apart from graduates from similar, less vocationally focused courses.

What you can do with a medical biotechnology degree

Career opportunities include:

  • Product development
  • Research science
  • Diagnostics and pathology lab work
  • PhD study
  • Sales
  • Teaching

We'll provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.

Whatever comes next after your studies, our Careers and Employability service will give you support and advice for up to 5 years after you graduate.

6-month professional experience module

In this module, you'll do a work placement or professional experience programme for 6 months after your year of taught studies.

Work placement

Your placement at the end of the course gives you valuable professional experience in real world biotechnology. You'll work in a laboratory applying molecular techniques in diagnostics and therapeutics, and develop your practical skills using professional research equipment. Depending on the placement you do, you'll undertake medical biotechnology research in areas such as pathology, drug or device development, business or bioinformatics.

You can begin looking and applying for placements after completing your first teaching block. You'll get support from the Careers and Employability Centre and the faculty's Careers team.

Note that work placements can't be guaranteed because it depends on their availability and the specific needs of placement providers. We'll give you the support you need to identify work placements but you'll be responsible for securing a placement successfully.

Professional experience programme

If you're unable to secure a work placement, you'll complete a professional experience programme designed to meet your career aspirations.

You will further develop your employability and enterprise skills and prepare yourself for the workplace. This could be an entrepreneurship, industry-related or consultancy project, or other activities appropriate for your career development.

​What you'll study

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

You need to study modules worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 30 credits and 1 module worth 60 credits.


  • Medical Biotechnology: Diagnostics
  • Medical Biotechnology: Therapeutics
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Medical Biotechnology Research Skills and Project
  • Postgraduate Work-Based Learning

  • Biotechnology Enterprise
  • Bioinformatics and Omics
  • Clinical Pathology
  • Tissue Regeneration

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.


Teaching on this course includes:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • one-to-one-tutorials
  • workshops
  • practical work

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • practical work
  • problem-based learning
  • case studies
  • presentations
  • essay
  • project work and thesis

You'll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

How you'll spend your time

We recommend you spend at least 40 hours a week studying for your Medical Biotechnology Master's degree. You’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures and practical workshops for about 12 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework, programming and conducting experiments.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

If you do a work placement, your working hours will depend on your employer and role but are likely to be around 35–40 hours a week.

Term times

Each academic year is divided into 3 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block (includes Christmas break) – October to January
  • Spring teaching block (includes Easter break) – February to May
  • Assessment period – May to June
  • Summer Teaching Block – June to September

Following the taught elements of your course, you'll work on your dissertation from early June until September and complete your 6-month professional experience module from September to March.

Extra learning support

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (September 2021 and January 2022 start)

Full time

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students –£10,700
  • EU students (including Transition Scholarship) –£10,700
  • International students – £17,600

Part time

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students –£5,350 (subject to annual increase)
  • EU students (including Transition Scholarship) – £5,350 (subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £8,800 (subject to annual increase)

You'll also need to pay a fee for your professional experience module:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students –£1,090
  • EU students (including Transition Scholarship) –£1,090
  • International students – £1,830

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

You'll be issued safety equipment free of charge at the start of the programme, though you'll need to pay a £50 fee if this equipment is not returned in a good condition at the end of the course.

You'll need to meet the associated costs for any placements. This may include the cost of travelling from home to placement.


Start your application by following the link below:

September 2021 start

January 2022 start

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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